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November 21, 2023

A South Portland brewery will close its doors after a 6-year run

Photo / Alexis Wells Island Dog Brewing is located at 125 John Roberts Road in South Portland.

After more than six years, Island Dog Brewing in South Portland announced it would be closing the beer taps for good. 

In a social media announcement on Monday, owners Jim and Jody Denz said the brewery will close at the end of November — or when the beer runs out, whichever comes first.

“Over the past 6.5 years, we’ve made some great memories, built an amazing community and a great place for us all to connect,” they said. “In fact, some of us connected so well that we ended up with jobs in the taproom.”

“In addition to new career paths, the connections we’ve made have led to wonderful friendships and unforgettable memories,” they continued. “Without getting too cheesy, we can confirm we’ve made some genuine friendships here that will last beyond our time at Unit 15 in South Portland.”

Opened in 2016, Island Dog described itself as a "small craft brewery that brews a wide variety of beers and uses locally sourced ingredients." This included around three dozen different beers over the years.

The brewery was also known for being a pet-friendly establishment and hosted events and fundraisers for local animal rescues and organizations.

To celebrate the final days, Island Dog will be open for limited hours this week and on Nov. 25. It will host a final party, where patrons can grab the last cans of Island Dog beer and merchandise. 

What’s going on in the beer industry

According to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association's "Year in Beer 2022" numbers, the industry had mixed signs of recovery after the challenges of the pandemic. Breweries had to find creative ways to bring customers back. 

In 2022, there were 9,500 breweries in operation in the United States. Some 550 opened and more than 200 closed, according to the Brewers Association.

Maine has 154 licensed breweries, producing 376,702 barrels of craft beer per year.

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